Schools buy 18,000 liters of hand sanitizer, view proposal for sanitation services

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools are preparing for school facilities to reopen, and the Board of Education on Monday approved a bulk hand sanitizer purchase along with viewing an initial proposal for sanitation

District Director of Construction and Facilities Christopher Nuckolls presented both commitments to the board. The purchase of 9,000 two-liter containers of hand sanitizer was bid out and awarded to R.W. Sportswear, of Kannapolis, for $178,155.

Hand sanitizer is part of the state’s reopening requirements and will be placed in every entrance, classroom, cafeteria and vehicle the district uses. Schools will reopen with a mixed virtual and in-person model in August.

Nuckolls said the hand sanitizer has a two-to-three-year shelf life. Supplies of personal protective equipment as well as hand sanitizer, he said, are becoming more difficult to get as COVID-19 begins to spread rapidly.

Board member Josh Wagner asked how long the sanitizer would last. While Nuckolls said the hope is it would be a year’s supply for the district, that was an estimate.

Additional custodial services would bring in workers to disinfect facilities at night. Regular custodians would not have enough time during the day to do so, RSS staff said. There will be one new custodial staff member at each school and an additional custodian to clean buses stored with the district’s transportation department.

Kelly Educational Staffing had the lowest of two bids for additional custodial services at about $817,000, but the board will not view a contract until Monday. The district will provide all the supplies for the services. The board recently agreed to contract with Kelly to manage its substitute teacher programming as well after a recommendation from the district’s human resources department.

Nuckolls said his intention is for services to begin a week before the first day of classes — whether schools reopen in August as scheduled or later. Additional staff will clean Monday through Friday.

Board chair Kevin Jones asked if the contract could be adjusted or ended depending on when or if schools are allowed to reopen. Nuckolls said there will be options written in.

The hand sanitizer and custodial services will be paid for with CARES Act funding intended for additional supplies and services.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

email author More by Carl